In a large soup pot, heat the one tablespoon of the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onion and cook till nearly translucent, now add the garlic. Don't let the garlic brown and saute another couple of minutes.
Add the rest of the chopped veggies, sauteing for just a minute or two. You're not cooking them just sauteing for the wonderful flavor this quick step will infuse in your soup. Add the thyme and salt and pepper while sauteing.
Now put the veggies in the crock-pot, add the tomatoes and broth. Cook on low 7-9 hours (depending on your crock-pot) or high 4-6 hours (but all crock-pots are different, depending on size, age, brand etc. Remember, your mileage may vary). Just before serving, gently mash some of the potato chunks against the side of the crock-pot to thicken the soup, give it a stir and serve.
Quick Fixes for Variations on the Basic Veggie Soup:
Now remember, don't do this to the whole pot of soup! Just the little bit you pull out to fix yourself for lunch, etc.
Quick Fix #1: Tex Mex Veggie Soup. Add some (eyeball it - how much do you want?) canned black beans (drained and rinsed), a little bit of cumin and chopped cilantro. Top with some tortilla chips and cheese, or serve with a quesadilla.
Quick Fix #2: Tuscan Veggie Soup. Add some (eyeball it again) canned cannellini (white kidney beans) or white beans (drained and rinse), a little bit of Italian seasoning and some chopped kale. Cook till heated through and the kale is tender.
Quick Fix #3: Minestrone Veggie Soup. Add some cooked pasta, a little dried basil and top with a fresh grating of Parmesan cheese.
Quick Fix #4: Autumn Veggie Soup. Add some cooked diced acorn squash or butternut squash, some cooked brown nice, a sprinkling of nutmeg and some chopped parsley.
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